WWF: Wetland restoration secures much-needed freshwater resources

WWF: Wetland restoration secures much-needed freshwater resources

MOSTAR, February 2 (FENA) – Seen from space, our “blue” planet seems to be overflowing with water. However, only a fraction of water on the planet is drinking water. On World Wetlands Day we point out the importance of wetland conservation and restoration to preserve freshwater resources and our future.

At first glance, water seems to be endless. Yet, only 2.5% of water is freshwater, and less than 1% is suitable for drinking. Only 0.3% is stored in rivers and lakes. The remaining freshwater is stored in wetlands like swamps, ponds, floodplains, peatlands, etc. Over the years, unsustainable development, population growth, urbanization, and consumption have devastated wetlands, putting unbearable pressure on most of our freshwater supplies, warns WWF Adria.

On World Wetlands Day, celebrated on 2 February each year, we point out the importance of preserving freshwater resources and ecosystems if we want a future in which clean water is available to all.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is extremely rich in various freshwater habitats. But few know that one of its greatest treasures is wetlands or peatlands, which retain twice as much carbon as all forests in the world, even though they occupy only 3 percent of the earth’s surface. In order to function properly, peatlands must be wet. Unfortunately, due to hydropower power plants and unsustainable agricultural production, these areas are often drained, which causes irreparable damage to the environment,” said Zoran Mateljak, Head of Freshwater Department at WWF Adria.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, wetlands are mainly associated with certain zones at the bottom of karst fields, among which the most famous are Livanjsko, Glamočko and Kupreško fields and Hutovo Blato. In addition, localities are known in the area of ​​the Bardača wetland and other similar areas along the Sava River, but due to intensive agriculture and uncontrolled land conversion, they are increasingly disappearing.

Everything is connected in nature. The destruction of the environment in one place can cause serious consequences in multiple remote locations. Therefore, the protection of nature and the environment should be dealt with systematically and in the long run, in order to protect the most valuable resources that Bosnia and Herzegovina has – places of untouched nature, and especially its water resources.

We must understand that the availability of water and its quality is the responsibility of all of us and that each of us can contribute to its preservation. We need a turnaround in our current attitude towards nature – instead of destroying it is time to start rebuilding swamps, lakes and rivers to ensure a common future and preserve one of the fundamental human rights – the right to clean water, stated WWF Adria on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.